LaHood touts odometer fraud cases

"At the time, Seattle police officers had just arrested four suspects on federal charges of odometer fraud," he continued. "These arrests resulted from a joint investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Odomoter Fraud Investigations, the Department of Justice, the IRS, and the Seattle Police Department.  The four men were suspected of tampering with odometers in more than 75 vehicles. And last week, all four suspects pleaded guilty."

LaHood said it was important that cars have accurate mileage readings not just to protect customer's money, but to protect their safety as well.

"Automakers often recommend part replacements based on a car's mileage," he said. "So a vehicle's odometer  is one of the easiest ways to judge expected wear and tear on parts that can affect your safety like ball joints, suspension and timing belts."

LaHood suggested that people who are considering buying previously-owned cars use the NHTSA's tips for spotting odometer fraud, which can be read here.